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June 13, 2021
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Ethiopia charged 53 Defense Force members over sexual assault

25 of them are charged in connection with sexual assault in Tigray region of Ethiopia during the law enforcement operation

Sexual assault _ Tigray _ Ethiopia
Gedion Timotios, Federal Attorney General (photo : screenshot from the video)

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Ethiopia’s state owned media, Ethiopian News Agency, on Thursday reported that 53 members of the Ethiopian Defense Force are charged in connection with sexual assault and the killings of civilians. 

28 of them are charged in connection with the killings of civilians while 25 are indicted over sexual assault – seemingly during the course of the law enforcement operations in the region. 

So far the joint investigation established that over 100 civilians were killed in connection with Ethiopia’s government operation against the TPLF which started the war when it attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defence Force in early November 2020. 

The Federal Attorney General said the Ethiopian Defense Force, Federal police crime investigation, United Nations Human Rights Commission and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission are working together to investigate crimes allegedly committed in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. 

It is also indicated that  TPLF executive members organized soldiers within the Ethiopian Defense Force to attack the northern command of the Ethiopian Defense Force, and instigate civil war in different places. The TPLF is also implicated in attacking Federal Police members and destroying public infrastructures. 

Furthermore, the Federal Attorney said 200 individuals are identified in connection with the Maikadra massacre where Youth groups organized by Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), known as Samri, slaughtered over 600 civilians, mostly ethnic Amhara, in November 2020. 

Only 23 of them have been arrested so far and the remaining fled to Sudan where they are accepted as asylum seekers. 

A federal high court is looking into the cases of those who are arrested,as indicated by the Federal Attorney General. 

The United States and its European allies have recently been accusing the Ethiopian and Eritrean government of human rights abuse in the Tigray region.  They called for an end to the military conflict and political settlement.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian government announced that it expects to complete operations against TPLF soon. The Ethiopian Defense Force is focusing on areas where the TPLF is operating extensively as a guerrilla forces, said press secretary in the office of the Prime Minister, Billene Seyoum Seyoum

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